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Food Safety News

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Rosa DeLauro

House Subcommittee Airs Out FSIS Controversies During Budget Hearing

USDA building

At Thursday’s hearing with Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety Brian Ronholm, members of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee addressed many of the controversies currently dogging the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Most discussed was the proposed modernization of the poultry inspection rule. While several House members, including Chairman Robert Aderholt… Continue Reading

68 Members of Congress Ask Vilsack to Withdraw Poultry Inspection Rule


A bipartisan group of 68 members of Congress wrote to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday, asking him to suspend action on the proposed Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection rule, which is based on the HACCP-Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP). “While we strongly support modernizing our food safety system and making it… Continue Reading

Why Did FSIS Close a Foster Farms Plant for Cockroaches But Not Salmonella?

Chicken processing

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended poultry processing at a Foster Farms plant in Livingston, CA, due to an infestation of cockroaches. Since then, some people have expressed confusion about why the agency closed the plant for pests but not months ago during an outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella that sickened at least 416 people…. Continue Reading

FSIS Salmonella Action Plan Criticized for HIMP Emphasis


Food-safety advocates are praising the U.S. Department of Agriculture for releasing its Salmonella Action Plan while also criticizing it for not going far enough in reducing the estimated 1.3 million illnesses caused by the pathogen each year. Much of the concern over the plan regards the “Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection” proposal, which the plan names… Continue Reading

USDA’s Hagen Addresses Rep. DeLauro on Inspector IT Network


Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Under Secretary of Food Safety for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, wrote a letter to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) last week regarding DeLauro’s concerns over a reportedly problematic computer network used by USDA meat inspectors. The letter came as a response to an open letter DeLauro wrote to Hagen on Aug. 23… Continue Reading

Food Safety Remains on GAO’s ‘High-Risk’ List


Food safety remains on the Government Accountability Office’s “high-risk” list, according to an update put out by the agency Thursday. As GAO noted in its report, the U.S. government is the “world’s largest and most complex entity” that runs an incredibly diverse range of programs, so the agency uses its high-risk list to draw attention… Continue Reading

FSIS Makes Cut to Foreign Meat Safety Audits Public


The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it has stopped annual food safety audits for foreign countries shipping meat to the U.S. and will now do these audits just once every three years. The policy change was made nearly three years ago, and Food Safety News exclusively reported on the scale-back nearly three months ago, but USDA’s Food… Continue Reading

DeLauro to Obama Admin: Don’t Weaken Food Safety in Canada Trade Intiatives


Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is urging the Obama administration to not weaken food safety protections in initiatives with Canada as the two countries work to hash out the details of the Regulatory Cooperation Council and the Beyond the Border program. “There are significant differences between the two countries’ food safety systems and easing the way… Continue Reading

Members of Congress Ask That Seafood Safety Be Part of TPP Negotiation


Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Congressman Walter Jones (R-N.C.) sent a letter to the Obama Administration Thursday asking that public health be a focus during the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement. The lawmakers are concerned that, as result of expanded trade with Vietnam and Malaysia – two… Continue Reading

DeLauro: Cantaloupe Recall Highlights Importance of MDP


Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) said this week that the recent recall of cantaloupes for Listeria, which was initiated after the Microbiological Data Program found the bacteria in a sample, shows that the small produce testing program should not be cut. MDP identified the contaminated melons just two weeks after the U.S. Department of Agriculture decided… Continue Reading